Tonight at McNally Jackson, one of my all-time favorite writers Elif Batuman and I will have a conversation about my new novel Friendship and I’ll read a chapter from the book for the first time. This is a moment I could not have imagined when I started the book several years ago and would sometimes have panic attacks in McNally Jackson because all the great books on its shelves seemed like they represented something I could never hope to accomplish.  Four years, lots of credit card debt, 1.5 jobs and many temp assignments, two apartments, one cat and many, many cups of coffee etc later, I will be having a panic attack in McNally for a much more pleasant reason.If you’re in NYC, I hope you’ll join me.If you’re not in NYC and you are still interested in reading the book, I have a few suggestions about where to buy it, which is something people ask me about a lot! If you’ve been following me for a while you know that Emily Books and I have strong feelings about using your book dollars to directly support people who publish and sell books in a sustainable way. HOWEVS, the important thing is that you buy books. So here is my official suggestion, and this goes for every new book, not just mine:1. Request the book at your local independent bookstore if you don’t find it on their shelves. 2. Order it online from Powell’s. If you order $50 worth of stuff you get free shipping. Two hardcovers is all it takes! Oof, I know, but.3. Put it on hold or request it at a public library. (!) Libraries buy books if people ask them to.4. You know, Amazon. I’m not judging you. This time. (While you’re there, check out the lol reviews from some very fun and talented-seeming men). If you’re in D.C. or Portland I will see you there on August 4th and August 12, respectively.  Otherwise, see you on the Internet.

Tonight at McNally Jackson, one of my all-time favorite writers Elif Batuman and I will have a conversation about my new novel Friendship and I’ll read a chapter from the book for the first time. This is a moment I could not have imagined when I started the book several years ago and would sometimes have panic attacks in McNally Jackson because all the great books on its shelves seemed like they represented something I could never hope to accomplish.  Four years, lots of credit card debt, 1.5 jobs and many temp assignments, two apartments, one cat and many, many cups of coffee etc later, I will be having a panic attack in McNally for a much more pleasant reason.

If you’re in NYC, I hope you’ll join me.

If you’re not in NYC and you are still interested in reading the book, I have a few suggestions about where to buy it, which is something people ask me about a lot! If you’ve been following me for a while you know that Emily Books and I have strong feelings about using your book dollars to directly support people who publish and sell books in a sustainable way. HOWEVS, the important thing is that you buy books. So here is my official suggestion, and this goes for every new book, not just mine:

1. Request the book at your local independent bookstore if you don’t find it on their shelves. 
2. Order it online from Powell’s. If you order $50 worth of stuff you get free shipping. Two hardcovers is all it takes! Oof, I know, but.
3. Put it on hold or request it at a public library. (!) Libraries buy books if people ask them to.
4. You know, Amazon. I’m not judging you. This time. (While you’re there, check out the lol reviews from some very fun and talented-seeming men). 

If you’re in D.C. or Portland I will see you there on August 4th and August 12, respectively.  Otherwise, see you on the Internet.

This is a photo of the first time I met Meghan Daum! The second time will be tonight and no one will be styling us like fierce vampires, un/fortunately. 
I feel like I’m in some ways less and in some other ways more of an idiot than I was in the joint interview that accompanied this photo, and in the book that prompted it.  I wonder if Meghan feels the same way about the essay collection she published near the end of her 20s?  Tonight, I will ask her that, live onstage.
Come!!

This is a photo of the first time I met Meghan Daum! The second time will be tonight and no one will be styling us like fierce vampires, un/fortunately. 

I feel like I’m in some ways less and in some other ways more of an idiot than I was in the joint interview that accompanied this photo, and in the book that prompted it.  I wonder if Meghan feels the same way about the essay collection she published near the end of her 20s?  Tonight, I will ask her that, live onstage.

Come!!

"Free-floating ambition is toxic because it means that anyone who has accomplished anything in any realm of human endeavor is the enemy because she might be your competition. So you hate everyone a little bit, but behind this wall of hatred you still feel vulnerable. And you are vulnerable, but not because of the competition. You’re vulnerable because if anyone points you in anything that seems like a direction, that’s where you’ll go."
— And The Heart Says Whatever  

(I was going to ask Maris to do this but that seemed too weird.  This is also weird but I HAD TO DO IT)

"Free-floating ambition is toxic because it means that anyone who has accomplished anything in any realm of human endeavor is the enemy because she might be your competition. So you hate everyone a little bit, but behind this wall of hatred you still feel vulnerable. And you are vulnerable, but not because of the competition. You’re vulnerable because if anyone points you in anything that seems like a direction, that’s where you’ll go."

And The Heart Says Whatever  


(I was going to ask Maris to do this but that seemed too weird.  This is also weird but I HAD TO DO IT)

"Texting!  Sexting!" I learned a lot from my last interview with Jim Zirin, host of "The Digital Age," and this time I didn’t let him get away with anything!  Also I didn’t espouse any — or many — weird sour-grapesy conspiracy theories about my enemies.   If you have half an hour to spare I would recommend you watch, if only to find out the definitive answer to the question "Is the internet bringing us closer together?"

For reasons that will eventually become clear to close watchers of Cooking the Books, Sloane Crosley bought me a pudding basin.  It arrived in the mail today.  Sloane is so nice!  (Duh!)
Last Sunday, our books were reviewed together in the Times and yesterday Choire pointed out the absurdity of this.  I mean, there are more absurd things currently happening in the world but I agree that this is absurd.  We are youngish, we are women, we live in New York, we have had experiences in the publishing industry.  But other than that we are dissimilar in almost every way.  I thought I would post a handy disambiguation guide for confused readers here.
1. Sloane is famously nice.  I am kind of a jerk (I’m working on it).
2.Sloane has a job. I mostly, truth be told, read the internet all day and occasionally I teach teenagers yoga.
3. Sloane’s first book was a bestseller.  My first book is (mercifully) out of print.
4. Sloane’s books are funny and a little bit sad.  My book is sad and a little bit funny.
5.  Sloane’s hair is straight and shiny whereas mine is matte and wavy.
6. If you like Sloane’s book, you might also like my book, and vice versa, but not because the two books are similar, because they’re not.  Anyone who approaches my book thinking it will be somehow like Sloane’s books is going to hate my book, the same way you’d hate a bite of goulash if you were told to be expecting a bite of cake. 

For reasons that will eventually become clear to close watchers of Cooking the Books, Sloane Crosley bought me a pudding basin.  It arrived in the mail today.  Sloane is so nice!  (Duh!)

Last Sunday, our books were reviewed together in the Times and yesterday Choire pointed out the absurdity of this.  I mean, there are more absurd things currently happening in the world but I agree that this is absurd.  We are youngish, we are women, we live in New York, we have had experiences in the publishing industry.  But other than that we are dissimilar in almost every way.  I thought I would post a handy disambiguation guide for confused readers here.

1. Sloane is famously nice.  I am kind of a jerk (I’m working on it).

2.Sloane has a job. I mostly, truth be told, read the internet all day and occasionally I teach teenagers yoga.

3. Sloane’s first book was a bestseller.  My first book is (mercifully) out of print.

4. Sloane’s books are funny and a little bit sad.  My book is sad and a little bit funny.

5.  Sloane’s hair is straight and shiny whereas mine is matte and wavy.

6. If you like Sloane’s book, you might also like my book, and vice versa, but not because the two books are similar, because they’re not.  Anyone who approaches my book thinking it will be somehow like Sloane’s books is going to hate my book, the same way you’d hate a bite of goulash if you were told to be expecting a bite of cake. 

New Cooking the Books, starring Anna Jane Grossman, a LOT of popcorn, and Val Temple deserving some sort of Internet Oscar for editing.  I hope you guys appreciate our attempts to make the lighting and sound less terrible.   We couldn’t do anything about me having a bad cold that makes me sound like I am going through puberty, however.  Even in this glorious future we still do not have that technology.